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Posts Tagged ‘Rhee Gold’

February 2014 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

Dance Studio Life February 2014COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold
Advice for dance teachers
2 Music Tips for Dance Teachers | Notation Basics By Nina Pinzarrone
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Rules of Ballet By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Let’s Tut By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Balance and Functions By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Rudiments: Fundamentals of Footwork By Thelma Goldberg
College Close-Ups | Hope College
What students need to know about college and university dance programs.
EditorSpeak By Cheryl Ossola
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Holly Derville-Teer and Debra Danese
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail
Words from our readers

Mindful Marketing | Make It Mobile By Kevin Ekmark
Teacher in the Spotlight | Lauren Kipphut
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Hats Off to Carolyn By Nancy Stone

FEATURES 
Ballet Scene | Fairrie’s Fitness By Joseph Carman
British-schooled Fiona Fairrie is in demand as a “fix-it” teacher.
Bright Biz Idea | On a Mission By Lisa Okuhn
How and why to put your philosophy and goals into writing.
Higher-Ed Voice | The Adelphi-Taylor Connection By Rachel Berman 
One dance department’s unique relationship with Paul Taylor Dance Company.
J.U.i.C.E.-d Up in L.A. By Rita Felciano
Hip-hop collective offers support and encourages creativity.
Schools with Staying Power | Earthbound and Airborne By Steve Sucato
Long’s School of Dance maintains traditions while moving beyond them.
Something New for Summer | Mozart to Mahler By Mary Ellen Hunt
Teaching musicality means going beyond counts and steps.
Something New for Summer | Teaching the Whole Child By Julia Holt Lucia
A summer session to boost mind as well as body.
Something New for Summer | Two Modes for Better Movement By Ann Murphy
Introducing students to Pilates and Gyrokinesis.
Summertime Teacher Training
Your guide to workshops and intensives across the U.S. and beyond.

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January 2014 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

 

January 2014COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold
Advice for dance teachers
2 Music Tips for Dance Teachers | Exercises for Musicality By Nina Pinzarrone
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Airborne By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Rock to the Beat By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Shape and Process By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Step In Time By Thelma Goldberg
College Close-Ups | Jacksonville University
What students need to know about college and university dance programs.
EditorSpeak By Cheryl Ossola
FYI
What’s Up In the dance community

On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Dawn Freeman and Karen White
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail
Words from our readers

Mindful Marketing | Power of Perks By Meghan Seaman
Teacher in the Spotlight | Jessica Starr
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Heads Held High By Jennifer Moore Aguilar

FEATURES 
Ballet Scene | Crazy for Ballet By Claudia Bauer
The basics of building a program for boys.
Bright Biz Idea | Finding the “Vital Few” By Misty Lown
What a turn-of-the-20th-century principle of economics means to you.
Dance Theatre Goes Global By Rita Felciano
Kid-driven Mudd Butt Mystery Theatre Troupe gets inventive with dance.
Heat, Horton and Happiness By Karen White
One dance teacher’s transformative trip to Haiti.
Johannesburg to Oakland By Toba Singer
How South African dance landed at Laney College.

Living Traditions By Mary Ellen Hunt
In Native American dance, what’s old is eternal – and always relevant.
Mixing It Up By Joseph Carman
World dances, lindy hop, and Denishawn – Vanaver Caravan does it all.
Schools with Staying Power | Making Memories in Mobile By Lea Marshall
Sheffield School of the Dance’s three generations of dance lovers.
Who’s In Charge By Elizabeth McLain
When kids call the shots in class, chaos reigns.
  

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December 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

 

December 2013COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold
Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Better Balance By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Way to Pop By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Get Grounded By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Building on Basics By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Thoughts to Carry With You By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
What to remember to be the best ‘you’ ever.
EditorSpeak By Cheryl Ossola and Karen White
FYI
What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Megan Donahue and Karen White
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail
Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Online Integrity By Julia Holt Lucia
Teacher in the Spotlight | Staciann Marcucci
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Five Lessons By Joan F. Smith

FEATURES 
Ballet Scene | Sharing the Love, Shaping the Mind By Melanie Gibbs
How to make ballet fun for kids who resist it.
Bright Biz Idea | Two for One By Mary Ellen Hunt
Cooperation is key in merger of two studios.
Chatting With Chet By Karen White
Jacob’s Pillow musical-theater master talks shows and shop.
From Injury to Inspiration By Ryan P. Casey
How a tap syllabus was born and what it can do for tappers everywhere.
Fundamentally Hip-Hop By Ann Murphy
3 arts activists speak to schoolchildren through dance.
Get Out and Dance! 
Competitions and conventions for schools of every size, taste, and budget.

Higher-Ed Voice | Dancers Without Borders By Bonner Odell
Discovering the power of dance service in Panama.
Hip-Hop for All By Geo Hubela
Teaching methods that suit every student.
Hip-Hop for Tykes By Megan Donahue
Cool moves and lots of action for the preschool set.
Tap From the Heart By Ryan P. Casey
How to put meaning, emotion, and story into tap dance.
Tap’s Past Made Present By Andrew J. Nemr
Tap-dance memorabilia may find a home in a new museum.
  

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November 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

 

Dance Studio Life November 2013COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Super Stretches By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Build a Foundation By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Seeing the Good, Analyzing the Need By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Breaking It Down By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Ointment Options By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
Before aches appear, research which pain-relieving salve is right for you.
EditorSpeak By Lisa Okuhn and Karen White
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Michelle Knell
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Hootsuite’s Helping Hand By Lori Shecter
Teacher in the Spotlight | Whitney Teyf
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Beyond Normal Blue By Jennings Smith

FEATURES
Art for Art’s Sake By Neil Ellis Orts
Hope Stone Kids shouts out for diversity and individuality in art.
Ballet Scene | Personal and Provocative By Joseph Carman
TeenAge WasteLand gets teens talking, and dancing, about sensitive issues.
Boys to Men By Joseph Carman
Atlanta’s Men in Motion helps at-risk boys bypass crime for college.
Bright Biz Idea | You Want It? They’ve Got It! By Karen White
From the tried-and-true to the newest of the new, it was there at the DanceLife Teacher Conference.
Counterpoint and Connection By Ryan P. Casey
Choreographing dynamic duos is all about interaction.
Dancers With Voice By Maureen Janson
Wright State University emphasizes expression with acting and vocal training for dancers.
Dancing Inside By Arisa White
Teaching dance to the incarcerated.
Dancing on Common Ground By Ann Murphy
Dance Canvas turns to partnerships to nurture young choreographers.
Moving Passages By Jennifer Kaplan
Words and dance unite in a creative program for Baltimore students.
Onstage Poetry By Lois O’Brian
UB’s Digital Poetry and Dance Program links words and movement through technology.

 

 

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October 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life October 2013Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Upper-Body Awareness By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Building Endurance By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Change and Replace By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Teaching Time Steps By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Sound Advice By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT Maintaining a healthy teaching voice.
EditorSpeak By Cheryl Ossola and Karen White
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Holly Derville-Teer and Kerry Ring
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Social (Media) Savvy By Misty Lown
Teacher in the Spotlight | Thelma Goldberg
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Defining Reality By Julie Holt Lucia
Thinking Out Loud | Happy Ending By Amy Moy

FEATURES
Arizona Dance Invasion
Behind the scenes at the DanceLife Teacher Conference. 
Ballet Scene | For Children, By Children By Joseph Carman
Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet’s kid-friendly approach to ballet.
Bright Biz Idea | Perfect Pitch By Lisa Okuhn
The art of managing media relations.
Come Together By Misty Lown
Community groups add spice and surprise to dance recitals.
Costuming With Care By Megan Donahue
Common mistakes teachers make and how to avoid them.
From Private Passion to Public Good By Elizabeth Zimmer
How a recital crisis helped build a dance community.
From the Outside Looking In By Debbie Werbrouck
Parents and students chime in on the recital experience.
Higher-Ed Voice | Mamboing at MIT By Jennifer Kaplan
Mathematicians and scientists make smooth movers on the ballroom dance floor.
Seamless Show Strategies By Ryan P. Casey
Planning and running a tight show.
Showtime Shakeup By Julie Holt Lucia
Banish the recital blues by saying goodbye to the tried-and-true.
Showtime Styles By Maureen Janson
A look at who does what for recitals across the U.S.

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September 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life September 2013Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

 

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Fine-Tuning Performances By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Drop & Freeze By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Unpacking, Uncovering By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Slides & Warm-Up By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Pampering During Pregnancy By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
How to make nine months of change easy on the body.
EditorSpeak By Lisa Okuhn and Karen White
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Karen White and Holly Derville-Teer
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Campus Connections By Maureen Janson
Teacher in the Spotlight | Chris Collins
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Weight Worries By Beverly Byrd

FEATURES
3 Studios, 1 Dance By Jennifer Kaplan
United Dance blends students from three schools at competitions.
Assemblee Internationale 2013 By Joseph Carman
Canada’s international festival proves there are no borders, nationally or technologically, in ballet.
A World of Dance By Josie G. Sadan
Dance Planet makes Dallas a hotspot each spring.
Ballet Scene | Fabulous Feet By Mme. Peff Modelski
How to give your students freedom and finesse.
Boston’s Irish Invasion | World Irish Dancing By Karen White
Championships make its second U.S. appearance.
Bright Biz Idea | Conquering Competition Costs By Lois O’Brian
Strategies that ease the burden.
Comp Directors Tell All
Their thoughts on talent, trends and tears.
Game Up! By Steve Sucato
An inside look at the studios that sweep competitions.
High Drama, Low Morale? By Debra Danese
How to avoid or fix dance-team troubles.
If C Is for Competition… By Karen White
E is for Etiquette.
Positive Dance Competitions
What teachers and parents do and say to help students get the most out of competing.
Schools with Staying Power | Infinite Possibilities By Rita Felciano
Gus Giordano’s revolutionary jazz dance technique lives on in his 60-year-old school.
Warm Up, Tune In, Let Loose By Megan Donahue
Strategies for prepping students physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Youth Dance Festival By Kay Waters
New Jersey competition nurtures young ballet students.
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August 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life August 2013Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

 

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | A+ Arabesques By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Focus on Foundations By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Placing the Weight By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Developing Musicality By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Sidestepping the Sidelines By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
Overuse injuries are a reality for any dance teacher. Here’s how to avoid them.
EditorSpeak By Karen White and Lisa Okuhn
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Kerry Ring and Karen White
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Beyond Open House By Megan Donahue
Teacher in the Spotlight | Dierdre Miles Burger
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | The Love of My Life By Jackie L. Smith

FEATURES
Alexander Technique By Joseph Carman
Freedom of movement through consciousness.
Ballet Scene | Ballet’s Best, Cuban Style By Toba Singer
Encuentro Internacional de Academias de Ballet and Cuba’s influence on the international ballet world.
Ballet Teachers Unite! By Karen White
How an online chat room can create a community.
Beyond the Classroom By Julie Holt Lucia
Broaden your students’ dance education with a library corner, ticket exchanges, and more.
Bright Biz Idea | Dual Identity By Jennifer Kaplan
With a studio on each coast, Reflections in Dance serves as a business model of efficiency.
Business Owner’s Toolkit By Lisa Okuhn
Part 2: creativity at your fingertips.
Dance as a Bridge By Mary Grimes
Project: Generations unites young dancers with the elderly community.
Emotional Voice By Holly Derville-Teer
10 steps to more expressive dancers.
Get the ‘Glue’ By Misty Lown
Why every dance studio needs an office manager.
Higher-Ed Voice | Learning With the Heart By Bill Evans
Tending to the emotional side of students in teaching dance.
Money Talks By Debra Danese
School owners, faculty members, and independent contractors offer perspectives on teacher compensation.
MPACT on Families By Bonner Odell
Luna Dance Institute proves the power of parent-child dance.
Schools with Staying Power | Giacobbe Academy of Dance By Mary Ellen Hunt
Leading the way in dance education in Louisiana.
The Other Half By Rod Mohler
Survival tactics from a studio owner’s spouse.
World of Dance By Kat Richter
Teaching multiculturalism through creative movement.

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May-June 2013 Dance Studio Life

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May'13_Cover_3x4Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Weight and Balance By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Dressing the Part By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Spine Flexibility By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Adding and Enhancing Sounds By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Perk Up With Perfect Posture By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
EditorSpeak By Karen White and Lisa Okuhn
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Carol Crawford Smith and Kerry Ring
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Guerrilla Stategies By Julia Holt Lucia
Teacher in the Spotlight | Diane Moore Abraham and Susan Moore Edson
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Miracle Girl By Sara Brown

FEATURES
A Different Lens By Rita Felciano
Three dance professionals and their unique relationships with the world.
Aging Boomers, Dance Boom By Elizabeth Zimmer
Serving senior populations from coast to coast.
Ballet Scene | Passing It On By Joseph Carmen
As a teacher, former NYCB ballerina Kyra Nichols draws on Balanchine and more.
Bright Biz Idea | New Take on Networking By Lois O’Brian
How one school owner turned to the community for a business boost.
Dancing Toward Peace By Mary Ellen Hunt
Move This World’s international approach to empathy through movement
Decades of Dance By Holly Derville-Teer
3 later-in-life teachers offer a long view of teaching.
 Higher-Ed Voice | College Bound By Eliza Randolph
Educational consultant helps high schoolers and parents.
Project LIFT By Eileen Glynn
How New York Theatre Ballet helps children soar.
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July 2013 Dance Studio Life

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July'13_Cover_3x4Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Barre Basics By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Muscle Memory By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Joy of Teaching By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Bombershays and Counter-Rhythms By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Sniffles & Sneezes By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
When to push them and when to stay home.
EditorSpeak By Karen White and Lisa Okuhn
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection By Misty Lown and Nina Koch
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Blogging Basics By Megan Donahue
Teacher in the Spotlight | Michelle Freiburger Nicholson
Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Shut It Down? Think Again. By Lori Weil

FEATURES
Ballet Scene | Bringing in the Boys By Joseph Carman
From ballroom to hip-hop to ballet, Manatee School for the Arts knows how to draw young men.
Bright Biz Idea | No Money, Many Hands By Julie Holt Lucia
How volunteers helped a studio grow.
Business Owner’s Toolkit By Lisa Okuhn
Part 1: Practical solutions to everyday problems.
Collective Mentality By Julia Holt Lucia
Group-run schools take a different approach to running a business.
Nonprofit Nuts and Bolts By Karen White
What it takes to change your school’s financial status.
Nutcracker Variation By Mary Ellen Hunt
New England Ballet and special-needs kids put on a show to remember.
Tempting Twists on Tradition By Julia Holt Lucia, Larry Sousa, Holly Derville-Teer, Diane Gudat, Misty Lown
Five choreographers cook up a holiday show with must-use ingredients.
The Company Route By Holly Derville-Teer
3 teachers, 3 companies, 3 goals.
The Fine Art of Finding Money By Julie Kanter
Everything you need to know to get a grant.

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Ask Rhee Gold | Advice for dance teachers

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Hello Rhee,

I am having a difficult time. I run a small studio with only one room and one teacher, with around 150 kids. About five years ago we were kicked out of a mall because the businesses didn’t like the noise; about a year later my studio burned down. It turned out that our insurance covered losses only if we were the cause of the fire, and since the furnace blew and it was ruled that no one was at fault, we were out of luck and money. Then, about a year ago, my mother (and business manager) passed away from breast cancer.

Now I feel pushed to the edge because some of my former dancers opened a studio in the town next to us. They come to my performances and recitals and take notes. I have tried not to say anything; however, now this studio harasses my dancers by saying they will beat them at competitions. At a recent competition they did receive higher awards, but the studio entered the students in a lower category. I knew they were being dishonest about the number of hours per week they dance because they copy my class schedule.

I read on Facebook about the competition and their recital, which also uses my ideas, and it’s very hard for me. I love my job, but I don’t know how to keep going. Any advice? —Rhonda

Hello Rhonda,

If you were to make up this story, no one would believe it. I know it’s hard to accept, but these obstacles will make you stronger. And remember, things will get better.

The last thing you should do is worry about the other school. No, they should not come to your shows to take notes; no, they shouldn’t cheat at dance competitions—but they will deal with the results of that unethical behavior themselves. Their students’ parents know how long their children are in class, and they will realize that a school that cheats is not a positive influence for their children.

Think of the positives: since you have a one-room school with about 150 students, you have much less overhead than the new school does. And all of your students and their parents know you and feel your passion for teaching. And you must put on a good show, because your competitors want to learn from you. You’ll probably scour your leases and insurance papers to be sure you never get yourself into those messes again.

The past is behind you; now focus on yourself and what you want to accomplish, and how to be the best mentor, leader, and teacher possible. Apply all the tough lessons you’ve learned to your teaching. Your experience makes you smarter and stronger than the competition. That’s all you have to think about.

I wish you the best. —Rhee

 

Dear Rhee,

I implemented a “no compete” contract with my teachers, and since then three teachers have quit. They said I was keeping them from making money elsewhere since they didn’t work full time for me. Two of them were my studio managers, and they and another studio manager have joined forces to open a performing arts center in town, offering not only dance but music, voice, tumbling, pageant preparations, and musical theater, as well as the fringe things I offer, like ballroom and Zumba. They’ve even created a Mom ’n’ Me class for ages 1-plus. (Mine starts at age 2 and a half.)

Now the unethical things: they are contacting my students via email and Facebook, asking them to try their workshops. They tell my students’ parents how wonderful it would be for the dancers to “try something new” and that they offer so much more than I do. Several of my company dancers have unfriended them on Facebook. But what about new clients? I am in a military town and always lose a quarter to a third of my students yearly to military moves.

Also, the new school’s prices are extremely low—$40 for the first three classes, $5 discounts on more than three. These are 1990 prices! It’s taken me eight years to raise prices to $54 a month for one-hour classes, and I’ve been told I’m undervalued at these prices.

Do I lower my prices—not to match them, but to be competitive? Do I offer a discount to get current families to stay with me? (I have about 400 students.) Do I use group coupons to bring in new people? I know you say the next year’s attendance is only as good as the previous year’s recital, and this one is going to be fantastic!

I haven’t badmouthed these people, but it’s so hard to take the high road. Another local dance studio owner says to rely on my 40 years in the community to carry me through. My husband wants to lower our prices. My gut tells me not to, but instead to add value to my class offerings, combining tap and ballet classes into combo classes for our youngest students, to keep the bread-and-butter. Or limit costumes to save parents money. Any suggestions? —Lynn

Hello Lynn,

Please stop worrying! Yes, you are dealing with a new school in your area, but you have a 40-year reputation in your community, and it will take years for your competitors to catch up. My guess is that you have a lot of community loyalty and will continue to attract students because so many people know you. Many parents who took lessons from you themselves probably would never think of taking their children to anyone else. It takes a long time to build what you have.

Please do not lower your tuition rates; doing so would jeopardize your financial security, and that might be what your competitors are hoping for. I suspect they will soon realize that they cannot afford to undercut your tuition costs. It has taken you years to raise your tuition to where it is today, and it will take your competitors a long time to gain the kind of financial stability you have. People get what they pay for, and they will certainly get less experience from the new school in town.

The fact that your students are unfriending these people on Facebook proves how loyal your clients are. Yes, your competitors might attract some of your students, but not in the numbers you fear; they will need time and money to build their credibility. More people in your community know about the controversy than you realize, and many will side with you.

Your concept of putting on a great show and adding value to your classes is the way to go. Giving your clientele more than they expect is the best approach, and you should have no problem doing that.

We all get a kick in the butt every once in a while; it’s how we handle the kicks that matters. Hold your head high, show the world how confident you are, and always be one step ahead of the competition. I do suggest that you continue to refrain from discussing this issue with your clients. Pretend that none of this matters, and good luck! —Rhee

 

Hi Rhee,

I recently let a student go because of an abusive parent who was described as a toxic presence by other parents. My question is this: she prepaid some tuition and paid entry fees for a competition her child didn’t go to because she was taken off the team. The woman wants her money back. If I don’t refund it, she will sue me.

This woman verbally abused me and physically put her hands on me, so people tell me I should fight the lawsuit. I say write her a check and enjoy the peace we have because she’s gone, but my studio policies state that tuition and entry fees are nonrefundable. Would that open the door for future problems with my policies? —Wendy

Hello Wendy,

Sorry to hear that you had to deal with this abusive parent. I am sure the people who tell you not to refund the money have good intentions, but I would advise you to do it. It doesn’t violate your policy of no refunds because in this case you asked her to leave the school; she didn’t choose not to return.

Be thankful that you have rid yourself of the negativity this woman brought to your school. Look at the refund as a small price to pay for your sanity. I wish you all the best. —Rhee

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First Retreat Center Seminar of the Season a Success

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DanceLife Retreat Center speakers Patti Eisenhauer and Melissa Fortin Hoffman chat with studio owners; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center speakers Patti Eisenhauer and Melissa Fortin Hoffman chat with studio owners; photo courtesy DSL

“My husband and I had the most amazing time this past weekend learning fabulous info. Thank you Rhee Gold for the information, fun, friendships, and weight gain. Can’t wait to see you in Arizona.” That’s the response from Jill Clements, owner of Bingham Center in Midland, Texas, who attended the first DanceLife Retreat Center seminar of 2013 this past weekend in Norton, Massachusetts.

This past weekend’s workshop in Rhee Gold’s rustic retreat came complete with motivational messages, solid business advice, proven organizational strategies, and (apparently!) plenty of good food. Attendees at the sold-out seminar hailed from California, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Ontario, Canada.

Kevin Halpin, artistic director of Courtland Performing Arts in Courtland, New York, also had good things to say: “This past weekend was so illuminating, inspiring, and refreshing. Thank you for giving us so much to bring back and help bring our studio to the next level. Rhee Gold, you are a blessing!”

What causes these studio owners to be so enthusiastic? Check it out for yourself. Space is still available for July and August events. Visit www.danceliferetreat.com or call 508.622.0591 for details.

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Retreat Center June Weekend Sells Out: July, August Sessions Still Available

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

“Sold out” never means “out of luck” at the DanceLife Retreat Center.

The first of this year’s DanceLife Retreat Center seminars may be sold out, but there are plenty of other options remaining for studio owners looking for inspiration and solid advice to help them gear up for September and all the dance studio seasons yet to come.

No more than 30 attendees are admitted to each of Rhee Gold’s weekend summertime seminars: three-day sessions that delve deep into the often-troublesome details of running a dance studio—from marketing to managing, increasing income to improving communication, writing clear policies to setting an effective business structure.

Designed for studio owners and office managers, space is still available in these “grow your business” seminars set for July 7 to 9, 12 to 14, and 19 to 21; plus August 16 to 18, and 23 to 25.

Gold’s gears shift in the fall, and the focus switches from business to the classroom. Registrations are still being taken for all fall seminars: Teacher’s Ballet Intensive, November 3 to 4; The Future Edition (curriculum for ages 8 and under), November 9 to 10; and The Competition Edition, November 16 to 17. Just added: Rejuvenation Seminar, December 27 to 29.

All seminars come complete with catered meals, snacks, shuttle service to the nearby Holiday Inn, take-home materials, and plenty of personalized attention.

For more information, visit the Positive Dance webpage at http://www.positivedance.com/# where you can also check out all the other DanceLife educational and inspirational offerings: handbooks, posters, and T-shirts, classroom materials, and Dance Life Magazine subscriptions.

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Studio Owner Finds Visit to DL Retreat Center an “Eye-Opening” Experience

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DanceLife Retreat Center; image courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; image courtesy DSL

“This experience is definitely an opportunity to better yourself as an owner/director, as well as a teacher and a person.”

That testimonial comes from Kathie Hagen Morris, owner of Kat’s Dance Centre in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, who attended one of Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Retreat Center three-day seminars with her daughter last summer. Morris, who has been in the dance studio business for 33 years, said she was just beginning to consider hanging up her dance shoes when she took a trip to the Retreat Center in Norton, Massachusetts.

“This seminar helped me to see everything in a new light and gave me the energy to continue on—not only for me, but for my students and my daughter,” she said. “Being with other owners/teachers and finding out you’re not alone in your journey is awesome. The information Rhee has to share with us is just eye opening.”

Morris recommended that other studio owners feeling overwhelmed—like herself—give the Retreat Center a try. “There is no doubt in my mind that Rhee can give you new ideas, new skills, and a new outlook on all there is to this business. I know that I have come out of his seminar a different and better teacher and business owner! It is all worth it!”

Seminars start in June and run through November. Visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/#  for information.

 

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Gearing up for a Fabulous Fall at the DanceLife Retreat Center

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

It may seem far away, but in the dance studio business it’s never too early to think about fall.

Rhee Gold has his eye on autumn as well, and is designing three very special DanceLife Retreat Center seminars perfect for both studio owners and teachers.

November 2 to 3 will bring the Ballet Edition, an intense focus on concepts to help you build a strong ballet base for students from beginner through advanced levels, with Rhee Gold and Ronnie Mahler.

“The Future” Edition, set for November 9 to 10, will focus on curriculum for ages 8 and under with a “back to basics” look at classes such as Mommy and Me, creative movement, and pre-ballet. Enrich your knowledge and that of your faculty with practical and age-appropriate teaching techniques.

November 16 to 17 is the Competition Edition. Gold goes through all you need to know to ensure a successful competition season—from what to charge for rehearsals to how to control those parents; from doling out solos to building team morale.

All seminars take place at the DanceLife Retreat Center,155 Pine Street, Norton, Massachusetts. Visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/#!curriculum/ctgl for all the details.

 

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The DanceLife Retreat Center Experience: Rhee Gold and You

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Rhee Gold; photo courtesy DSL

Rhee Gold; photo courtesy DSL

There’s a gorgeous woodland setting, a newly built oversized cabin, fabulous catered food, and friendly colleagues. Even with all that, the main thing that brings studio owners back again and again is the satisfaction of a personalized DanceLife experience.

Three-day DanceLife Retreat Center workshops come complete with all the motivational support and business-organizational advice that you’d expect from dance education expert Rhee Gold—but in an intimate session of no more than 30 participants. At the Retreat Center, Gold speaks to YOU personally, in information-filled lectures and informal chat sessions.

Have a difficult situation or a challenging problem? In this intimate, relaxed setting, he’ll be happy to brainstorm solutions with you, point you in a new direction, or offer some advice gleamed from his lifetime growing up, working, and thriving in the dance studio industry.

Session start in June and run through the summer and fall. Check it all out today at www.danceliferetreat.com.

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Kick Your Shoes Off and Enjoy a Summer Sojourn at the DanceLife Retreat Center

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

When Rhee Gold was designing his new DanceLife Retreat Center, top priority was creating an environment where dance teachers and studio directors could relax, chill out, and feel the pressure of the dance studio business lift off their shoulders.

Inside, the comfortable cabin-in-the-woods feel encourages seminar attendees to stretch out on the plush rug or sink into an overstuffed coach in the great room, nibble a snack in the inviting kitchen, or check emails as the daylight stream in through the elegant wall-to-ceiling windows.

Outside, take a dip (or just dip your toes) in the sparkling in-ground pool, join a conversation on the open-air porch, or admire the deep woods view while taking a break on the patio. And everywhere, helpful staff persons (including Gold himself!) are on hand to make sure you are comfortable and content.

In between all that relaxing, Gold leads you and other seminar attendees through business and creative-oriented sessions guaranteed to help you take a fresh look at your studio business—and rejuvenate your lifelong passion for dance education.

Three-day sessions start in June. For all the details, visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/#.

 

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Studio Owner Sees DLTC as a ‘Golden Opportunity’ To Improve Her Business

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DLTC conference; photo courtesy DSL

DLTC conference; photo courtesy DSL

“Thank you for giving me such a golden opportunity!”

Misty Christopher-Mollitor of Dance Dimensions of SWFL wrote to Dance Studio Life to thank Jackrabbit Dance and all the companies who sponsored scholarships in the recent DanceLife Teacher Conference video competition.

“I have wanted to attend a DanceLife Teacher Conference for years, and something has always taken priority. It always seems that my family, my kids, studio priorities, or finances take the front seat, and my ‘want list’ sits anxiously in the back seat waiting for a turn. Every time I start a new dance season, I regret that I didn’t get to attend the convention to get the much-needed fresh motivation and fresh ideas for the upcoming year.

“This year there are no more excuses! Rhee Gold and the DLTC are now in the front seat, and I’m driving full steam ahead to get a healthy new outlook on dance, my business, and my career, thanks to all of you!”

Christopher-Mollitor, who has been teaching for 30 years and runs two studios in two states, knows firsthand the often “overwhelming, exhausting” job of a studio director, and didn’t even realize DLTC scholarships were available until her students submitted a winning video.

“As I listened, tears rolled down my face at the beautiful things that the students said about me and all the time that it took to make the video. It really made me feel loved, and past emotions of not being appreciated were all erased. It’s amazing what ‘Thank you’ and other kind words can do!”

“This video was the beginning of becoming more inspired, and ready to teach and carry on my love for dance for many more years to come. The trip to Arizona to the DLTC will be one of my greatest gifts, and just what I need as a teacher/owner to continue to share my love of dance with students and families for years to come.”

To learn more about the DLTC, summer and fall session at the DanceLife Retreat Center, and other programs for dance teachers and studio owners, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com and www.danceliferetreat.com.

 

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What’s the Big Deal about Dance Education? Spend a Weekend with People Who Know

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

Some days don’t you just wish you could vent about the crazy, complicated dance studio world to someone who truly understands? Then sign up for one of the summer sessions at the DanceLife Retreat Center and spend a weekend with adults who know exactly what you’re going through—and who care.

Limited to 30 participants, DanceLife Retreat seminars are not only a chance to learn successful strategies for running both the business and creative end of your studio, but three blissful days surrounded by colleagues with a passion for quality dance education. Rhee Gold has spent his entire career encouraging teachers and studio owners to stay strong, believe in themselves, and focus on providing the best dance education they can for all their students—a dance philosophy rooted in positivity that’s shared by educators from across the country and the world who attend his seminars and conventions.

Come spend a weekend in Gold’s rustic hideaway in the pine forests of Norton, Massachusetts, and make personal connections that you will keep for a lifetime. Not only do attendees trade advice and troubleshoot issues as they enjoy scrumptious catered meals and informal jam sessions, the conversation with these new friends continues every day on the DanceLife Retreat Center Facebook page.

Talk dance, make friends, relax. It’s the perfect summer self-indulgence.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday sessions are set for June 14 to 16, July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21, August 16 to 18, and August 23 to 25; plus July 7 to 9 (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday). Visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com/ for all the details.

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March-April 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life March/April 2013Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | At the Barre By David Arce
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | Slides By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Discovering the Spine By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Turns and Flaps By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Shape Up for Summer By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
EditorSpeak By Karen White and Lisa Okuhn
FYI What’s Up In the dance community
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection  By Debbie Werbrouck and Debra Danese
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Click! | A new look for the DanceLife Retreat Center website  
Online must-sees from the Rhee Gold Company
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Tempting Adults With Tap By Thelma Goldberg
Teacher in the Spotlight | Lisa Swenton-Eppard Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Dancing Again, Ballroom Style  By Lois O’Brian

FEATURES
Ballet Scene | Ballet Meets Ethnic in Atlanta By Mary Ellen Hunt
Ballethnic’s uncommon blend of African and European dance.
Bright Biz Idea | Business No-Brainer By Julie Holt Lucia
Better at choreographing than accounting? Let a financial whiz handle the numbers.
Capturing the Truth By Joseph Carman
Rose Eichenbaum’s personal view of the icons of dance.
Dancing Big By Ryan P. Casey
Jimmy Locust’s kid-oriented mission matches his high -energy career.
Hooked on Horton By Eliza Randolph
Ana Marie Forsythe on Lester Horton’s legacy and the need for codified modern dance.
Inside the Dancer By Kerry Ring
Why you should learn what makes your students soar or stumble.
Making Space for Modern By Bonner Odell 
Why offer modern dance? Five reasons to get you motivated.

Tap Festivals
A guide to 2013 tap festivals in the U.S. and abroad
Tap Pups, Top Dogs By Kay Waters
Teaching older students new tricks.
You Say ‘Modern’… By Jennifer Kaplan
I say ‘contemporary.’ Rethinking the nature of ever-evolving dance.
.

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On My Mind

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Words from the publisher

When was the last time you took a vacation? How about a day off just to rest and refuel? If you’re like many of the dance teachers and school owners I talk to, you’ll say you don’t have the time or the money. If that sounds like you, then maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities.

Most school owners will spend money on a dressmaker to alter recital costumes; that’s certainly an expense that can be justified. You can easily rationalize laying out cash for basic equipment, the newest technological advances, and more faculty. Covering costs for a few kids who still owe payments for their ballet shoes is OK, too. And that visiting choreographer you brought in for the seniors? Sure, her time was expensive, but you felt obligated to make the seniors feel special during their last year at the studio.

Another thing we spend like it’s small change is our time. Texting, emailing, and checking our Facebook pages hourly are important. The many all-day rehearsals to get the kids ready for performances are time well spent. And you had to spend a couple of days at the studio during the holiday break to get caught up after the first four months of the season, right? And that half a day spent on the phone with an irate mom, trying to convince her to keep her daughter in the school—surely that was worthwhile.

But if I suggested that you spend a few days away doing something for yourselves, I’ll bet your immediate reaction would be to feel guilty for even thinking about it. And what would others, especially your clients, think when they found out you spent money and time on yourself? Oh no. They would make nice gifts for someone else, but time for relaxation and replenishment aren’t things you give to yourself.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll probably discover that almost everything you do is part of keeping the business of life under control—and attempting to please those around you. Maybe it’s time to cut back on the number of days of rehearsal, or stop giving out your personal phone number to your students’ parents. Maybe it’s time to stop long enough to fuel your own soul. A few days to tend to yourself might actually allow you to enjoy all the rest of your days a little more.

Yes, you deserve it. You probably have trouble accepting that because saying we deserve something makes most of us feel self-serving. I am not sure if I feel bad about writing those words—you deserve it, I deserve it, we all deserve it—but I think I’ll figure it out on my vacation!

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Teachers, Studio Owners Chime in with Praise for DanceLife Retreat Center Experience

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

“This was the most amazing weekend I have had in a long time! It is with an uplifted spirit but a heavy heart that I am leaving.”

That sentiment was voiced by Neala Dunn of Dance Alive, Bourbonnais, Illinois, but shared by many of the studio owners and teachers who attended last year’s inaugural season at the DanceLife Retreat Center.

Based upon the accolades and thanks that poured in from participants, the unique three-day sessions designed by Rhee Gold specifically to address the business, creative, and motivational needs of studio owners and dance teachers were a huge hit.

“It was a difficult decision to spend the money for both my daughter and myself to come to this retreat, but it was worth every cent. You are a warm, caring, and inspiring person. You have changed my life, business, and my students’ lives for the better by inspiring me and giving me the tools and renewed inspiration to continue to do what I love and do best,” said Kathie Morris of Kats Dance Centre, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

The seminar price includes all activities at the Retreat Center including lectures and classes, manuals and other materials, catered lunches and dinners, snacks, and beverages, plus shuttle service to the nearby Holiday Inn (which offers a special discounted rate for attendees).

Interested? Don’t hesitate, because all seminars are limited to 30 attendees. Summer sessions in 2013 have been set for June 14 to 16, July 7 to 9, July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21, August 16 to 18, and August 23 to 25. Visit www.danceliferetreat.com for more information.

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Register Now for Summer Sessions with Gold at the DanceLife Retreat Center

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DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

DanceLife Retreat Center; photo courtesy DSL

It’s almost here! The second summer season of three-day business sessions with Rhee Gold promises to be an inspirational and informative one for the studio owners and teachers heading to the DanceLife Retreat Center in Norton, Massachusetts.

Space is still available for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sessions on June 14 to 16, July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21, August 16 to 18, and August 23 to 25; plus July 7 to 9 (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday).

In the quiet seclusion of the sparkling new Retreat Center, participants can rest and rejuvenate as they learn how to maximize the potential of their dance studio business. Limited to 30 teachers and school owners, each session will be led personally by Gold, who shares advice and strategies collected over a lifetime of business success.

Seminar sessions will touch on some of the most pressing topics for studio owners: from income-generating strategies to innovative marketing techniques, maximizing managerial effectiveness to enhancing communication, and step-by-step instruction on creating clear and useful policies. In this relaxed and comfortable environment, participants will collect the information they need to help them amp up their studio’s ultimate potential.

“For those who are ready to explore new business strategies and rejuvenate your dance spirit, I guarantee you a one-of-a-kind experience,” Gold said. “You will learn, grow, laugh, definitely make new friends, and gain the confidence to make your business the best it can be.”

To learn more, visit http://www.danceliferetreat.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Nancy Stone

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Nancy Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

Nancy Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Nancy Stone.

When did you first start dancing and why?
Nancy: I was about 9 years old. A traveling dance teacher visited our town once a week and taught class. That was the first time I had a chance to dance.

Did you ever seriously consider a career in another field? What was it?
Nancy: I wanted to go into the medical field.

What person/event was the biggest inspiration in your life?
Nancy: Many people nurtured and cared for me. My father died when I was 9. I was an only child and I had many guardian angels that inspired me.

What do you see as the most-pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?
Nancy: Fighting all the other activities that children do.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Nancy O’Meara

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Nancy O’Meara; photo courtesy DLTC

Nancy O’Meara; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Nancy O’Meara

What do you do for fun (other than dance)?
Nancy: I try to make everything fun. I love fun.

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Nancy: My favorite movie is Patch Adams. My favorite book is currently Fifty Shades of Grey Books 1 and 2, but I don’t think Rhee will let me print that answer! Favorite TV show is 30 Rock. I love to laugh.

What was the hardest thing you ever did in dance?
Nancy: Moving to Los Angeles and making a living at my craft.

A genie in a bottle is granting you three wishes: what are they?
Nancy: 1. For every homeless person to have a roof over their head. 2. For a doctor to tell me cheeseburgers are healthy. 3. That every child be exposed to the beauties and possibilities of dance.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Nancy: Dance is my recipe to life. I still tap dance in the shower.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Maureen Gelchion Corso

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Maureen Gelchion Corso; photo courtesy DLTC

Maureen Gelchion Corso; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Maureen Gelchion Corso.

In your opinion, who is the greatest dancer to ever dance? The greatest choreographer? The greatest teacher?
Maureen: Dancers: Natalia Makarova, Anthony Dowell, Fernando Bujones, and Alicia Alonso. Choreographer: Marius Petipa. My greatest dance teacher was Peter Nelson, and my greatest life lesson teachers are my husband and Rhee Gold.

What do you see as the most pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?Maureen: For studio owners/directors: there are many, but I think sticking to your studio policies and making sure your staff and faculty on 100 percent on board with you is most important. For teachers: there are also many things facing teachers today. For me, it is making the students really think about what they are learning and why they are dancing.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Maureen: When I danced it was my passion, my fuel, my escape!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Misty Lown

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Misty Lown; photo courtesy DLTC

Misty Lown; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Misty Lown.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Misty: I love teaching for Rhee’s DLTC! There is literally something for everyone at this conference—no one gets left behind. Attendees can get motivated in the business sessions and refreshed in the dance sessions. You will laugh and you will cry. But most of all, you will remember why you became a dance teacher or studio owner in the first place.

If Rhee could hold his DLTC anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Misty: Well, I am from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, so I would have to vote for somewhere tropical mid-January . . . ha!

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Misty: Hope. You can do it! Seriously! You can make a life (and a living) doing what you love. It may not look like what you thought it would, but it will be beautiful. Never, never, never give up!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Hedy Perna

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Hedy Perna; photo courtesy DLTC

Hedy Perna; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Hedy Perna.

What is your version of the perfect day?
Hedy: Doing absolutely nothing. It doesn’t happen often, so that’s why it would be perfect.

If you could have lunch with three great villains from history or fiction, who would they be?
Hedy: Not a fan or very interested in villains; however, I’d take a lunch with the Wicked Witch of the West. She definitely needed some make-up tips.

If you were a superhero, what special skill would you like to have?
Hedy: I would fly. I’m always running not to be late, so I’d get there faster by flying. Or I would have the ability to be invisible. It would be fun—and I would even go out into the lobby [of my studio] and listen to what’s going on.

A genie in a bottle is granting you three wishes: what are they?
Hedy: Health for my family, happiness for my family, and a little more time in each day for sleep.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Hedy: Everything. It’s my passion, my creativity, my discipline. And since it’s a family business (my husband and I both work at the studio), it is my livelihood and my future.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Madam Peff Modelski

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Madam Peff Modelski; photo courtesy DLTC

Madam Peff Modelski; photo courtesy DLTC

Madam Peff Modelski; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Madam Peff Modelski.

What do you do for fun (other than dance)?
Peff: I love needlework. I mostly love to crochet and knit toys and flowers, but I also do Kumihimo, which is a Japanese form of counted braiding. I am looking forward to learning how to spin, weave, and tat, which is lace-making. I learned to embroider in first grade, and my mother taught me to sew while she was making my clothes and costumes.

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Peff: Movies: The Gods Must Be Crazy, The Princess Bride. TV: Great Performances, Dance in America, and Live at Lincoln Center. Book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull—because anything is possible!

What was the hardest thing you ever did in dance?
Peff: Learning fouettés on pointe to the left; and my whole first year learning Graham technique at age 12.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Peff: Making a living only as a dancer/teacher my whole life, and raising a child as a single parent in New York City. I battled severe asthma for most of my life up until 12 years ago, so every breath was an accomplishment!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Gregg Russell

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Gregg Russell; photo courtesy DLTC

Gregg Russell; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Gregg Russell.

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Gregg: Movie: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Book: The Alchemist. TV show: It’s a toss-up between Family Guy and Fringe.

If you could have lunch with three great villains from history or fiction, who would they be?
Gregg: Interesting question: I think it would be interesting to meet Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, and the Unabomber.

If you were a superhero, what special skill would you like to have?
Gregg: The ability to stop time.

A genie in a bottle is granting you three wishes: what are they?
Gregg: 1. Financial security 2. Good health 3. More wishes!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Stacy Eastman

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Stacy Eastman; photo courtesy DLTC

Stacy Eastman; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Stacy Eastman.

When did you first start dancing and why?
Stacy: My aunt owned a dance studio and she was my babysitter, so I was always at the studio with her. The rest is history.

What person/event has been the biggest inspiration in your life?
Stacy: My mother and my aunt are two of the biggest inspirations in my life. In the earlier years of my life I would have to say my aunt, who was my dance teacher, truly inspired me to be the best I can be. A few years ago my mother got sick and I see her struggle on a daily basis, and she is so strong, so she inspires me to be more positive.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Stacy: Dance has been the biggest part of my life. I am lucky to have a career that is not really a job, and I get to work with children whom I love and I get to be a big part of their lives—which is awesome. It has allowed me to travel the world and meet many people who are now my best friends—that’s one of the best parts of this crazy life.

I always say, “We are dancers, we are different,” and it’s the truth. We just get things that others don’t. I am so glad I get to share that with a lot of my students and friends. Dance is something I have always loved and always will, and it definitely defines who I am in a lot of ways.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Mike Wittmers

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Mike Wittmers; photo courtesy DLTC

Mike Wittmers; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Mike Wittmers.

Did you ever seriously consider a career in another field? What was it?
Mike: Back in high school, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I am still a huge sports fan.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Mike: I love the instant reaction I get from other dance educators when I share pieces of information and their faces light up with that “ah-ha” moment. . . . It really makes me feel like I am making a positive impact in the dance community.

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Mike: Learn music and musicality. Dance is music first, movement second. If nobody wants to listen to a singer who is off key, they certainly don’t want to watch a dancer who doesn’t hear/feel music.

What person/event was the biggest inspiration in your life?
Mike: The biggest tap and musical theater inspiration in my life was Gregory Hines. I got to see him on Broadway in Jelly’s Last Jam.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Diane Gudat

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Diane Gudat; photo courtesy DLTC

Diane Gudat; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we learn more about Diane Gudat.

What person/event was the biggest inspiration in your life?
Diane: The birth of my children probably tops it all. When you realize that you have the ability to create such beauty, and then have the responsibility to protect and nurture it, it’s pretty life changing.

What do you do for fun (other than dance)?
Diane: I enjoy drawing and studying French. I’m mediocre at both!

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Diane: One of my all-time favorite movies to quote is Drop Dead Gorgeous. I also enjoy the series of [Christopher Guest] movies that includes Best in Show. When I watch a movie I want to relax and laugh! I enjoy a good sitcom and would love to be a comedy writer on a show like Modern Family or The Middle. I am sad to say that I am addicted to several reality shows, my favorites being The Amazing Race, Project Runway, and The Biggest Loser!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Derrick Yanford

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Derrick Yanford; photo courtesy DLTC

Derrick Yanford; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Derrick Yanford.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Derrick: I’m going to replace greatest with most memorable for I don’t wish to rate or compare them to each other—they are all great!

As an amateur: achieving my goal of winning the titles of Mr. Dance of America and America’s Dancer of the Year.

As a professional dancer: probably my first professional gig. I was so young and had only been dancing for a short while, so I’m pretty proud of that. Also, being chosen to dance with Ballet Hispanico. They were only looking for one male dancer. I was only 20 and a sophomore in college, and was in the audition with some really talented seniors from my school. But they chose me . . . that was cool!

As a choreographer: the last performance of my company, Bridge Dance Concepts. We performed at the EDANCO Dance Festival in Santo Domingo last September and were very well received. The show order changed for the second night to allow us to close the show and the festival. I love what I came up with, and my dancers performed beautifully. It was a really great experience.

As a teacher: the many offers I’ve been given to teach around the world. I have been fortunate to have been contacted by people whom I’ve never met, asking me to teach for them based on what they heard about my teaching style, or by either watching me teach, taking a class, or through word of mouth passed along by my students or colleagues. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the respect of my contemporaries.

As a person: without a doubt my 15 soon-to-be 16-year relationship with the love of my life. I am so glad the universe brought us together, and I’m looking forward to the next 15.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Ashley Stone

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Ashley Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

Ashley Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Ashley Stone.

What do you see as the most-pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?
Ashley: Keeping high school children dancing despite their varied commitments to school and other after-school activities.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Ashley: I like teaching at DLTC because I like that there’s a young people’s forum where we can really relate on another level—a personal one.

 If Rhee could hold his DLTC anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Ashley: Australia. As long as I can get there for free!

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Ashley: I will be talking about the passing of the torch from one generation to the next, and so I would want people to remember that on the toughest days, there are always better ones ahead.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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February 2013 Dance Studio Life

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Dance Studio Life, a magazine with a back-to-basics approach, is a division of the Rhee Gold Company, whose mission is to be at the forefront of dance and education by promoting the highest possible standards in teaching. Dance Studio Life understands the soul of the teaching field.

February 2013COLUMNS
Ask Rhee Gold Advice for dance teachers
2 Tips for Ballet Teachers | Rigor and Nuance By Mignon Furman
2 Tips for Hip-Hop Teachers | The Shoulder Bounce By Geo Hubela
2 Tips for Modern Teachers | Investigations By Bill Evans
2 Tips for Tap Teachers | Shuffles and Pullbacks By Gregg Russell
A Better You | Getting Out with Grace By Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT
EditorSpeak By Karen White and Lisa Okuhn
On My Mind | Words from the Publisher By Rhee Gold

DEPARTMENTS
Classroom Connection  By Kerry Ring and Lizanne McAdams-Graham
Ideas to incorporate into your curriculum
Click! | New DanceLife Teacher Conference website
Online must-sees from the Rhee Gold Company
FYI What’s up in the dance community
Mail Words from our readers
Mindful Marketing | Marketing Ideas for Summer By Teri Mangiaratti
Teacher in the Spotlight | Erin Spriggs Teachers who make a difference  
Thinking Out Loud | Hip-Hop Gold  By Carol Crawford Smith

FEATURES
Ballet Scene | Russia Calling By Joshua Bartlett
For authentic Vaganova training, head to St. Petersburg.
Bright Biz Idea | Rehearsals Made Simple  By Karen White
Online scheduler takes the pain out of private rehearsal planning and payment
Higher-Ed Voice | Dance Steps, Next Steps By Lisa Okuhn
A San Francisco school helps teens navigate the path to college dance programs.
Kicking Off Summer By Megan Donahue
In five short weeks, Kick Start gets kids jazzed for fall.
Stay-at-Home Summer Dance Intensive By Julie Holt Lucia
How to challenge and transform dancers right in your own backyard.
Summer Inspiration on a Shoestring By Julie Holt Lucia
Do-it-yourself staff development and continuing education.
Summertime Teacher Training 
Your guide to workshops and intensives across the U.S. and beyond.

Top of the Class By Jennifer Kaplan
Never mind the trophies and the technique-dance honor societies value effort and commitment

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Nancy Stone

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Nancy Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

Nancy Stone; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Nancy Stone.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Nancy: I am on a high from the minute I am asked until days after it is over. It is inspiring for dance teachers and faculty alike.

If Rhee could hold his DLTC anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Nancy: Italy, my favorite place on earth.

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Nancy: Love what you do and do your very best.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Nancy O’Meara

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Nancy O’Meara; photo courtesy DLTC

Nancy O’Meara; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Nancy O’Meara.

What is your version of the perfect day?
Nancy: Well, I’m on a plane to Las Vegas . . . and so far it’s perfect.

If you could have lunch with three great villains from history or fiction, who would they be?
Nancy: Hmmm . . . no villains come to mind. . . . But I would love to have lunch with Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Brit Hume, and Sherry Gold. And Robin Williams would be my waiter.

If you were a superhero, what special skill would you like to have?
Nancy: I would have the ability to stop hate and anger in the world. Maybe with a magic device like they have in Men in Black . . . “look into my light” and bam—no more hate or the ability to take a life.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Misty Lown

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Misty Lown; photo courtesy DLTC

Misty Lown; photo courtesy DLTC

When did you first start dancing and why?
Misty: I was born with a clubfoot and had childhood asthma. My mom enrolled me in ballet at age 3 to help with the asthma and to help strengthen my foot, which by that time had been broken and reset in a forward-facing position.

Did you ever seriously consider a career in another field? What was it?
Misty: Yes. Believe it or not, I went to college to be a Spanish teacher. I thought it would be a nice, “safe” career. I even spent a month in Guatemala honing my skills. But my first student-teaching experience in a Spanish classroom was a huge disappointment.

I remember standing in front of a room of high-school students who could not have cared less about conversational Spanish or verb conjugations (which I thought were kind of fun!). It was such a contrast to the excitement I saw from my students at the dance studio!

I did end up finishing my master’s in education, but wrote a tap curriculum for my exit project instead of a Spanish curriculum. Then, I put aside the “safe” path and followed my heart; throwing everything I had into opening a dance studio and developing my true love—teaching dance!

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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On My Mind

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Words from the publisher

We are in conference mode here at the Rhee Gold Company and Dance Studio Life. What started as Project Motivate with 20 attendees in 1998 has morphed into the DanceLife Teacher Conference, which attracts more than 700 teachers, school owners, and studio managers from across the United States and Canada, and from as far away as Italy and Australia.

As we celebrate our 15th anniversary as conference producers, we’ll offer more than ever—well over 100 classes and seminars in the first four days of August, presented at the five-diamond Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The diverse faculty includes some of the brightest minds in the field, coming from backgrounds in hip-hop, classical ballet, tap, contemporary, jazz, preschool education, and more.

It’s important, I believe, to get back to basics with dance classes. Although there are numerous conventions that offer advanced master classes, few provide the chance to learn new concepts for preschool, beginner, and intermediate students. Yet these classes are exactly what every school owner or teacher needs to do well, in order to maintain their school’s financial health.

A full track of business sessions for studio owners includes concepts and techniques for marketing, office organization, summer programs, websites and social media, building new profit centers, plus more. In addition, there will be special sessions for studio managers and closed “studio owner only” events.

Since communication is key in dance education, many schools have brought their entire faculty and staff to our last few conferences to ensure that everyone is learning and sharing with a singular mind-set. Often, while the teachers take classes, the studio managers and school owners attend the business seminars. Together they build camaraderie and bring a bounty of new ideas back to their home studios.

As the conference director, I have a goal of bringing the dance community together to share a love for the art of dance, while simultaneously providing opportunities to learn and grow as professionals—and thus improve as teachers and as business owners. I look at the conference as a way for attendees to rejuvenate their dance spirit, build confidence, and learn new teaching skills that will not only improve students technically but also inspire them to develop a lifelong passion for dance.

As I look back to the beginning of my journey as a conference producer, I remember the skeptics who told me that dance teachers and school owners were too competitive to want to share their knowledge. My instincts told me that wasn’t true. As the DanceLife Teacher Conference has proved over and over again, dance educators embrace the chance to communicate and to celebrate their common bond.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Maureen Gelchion Corso

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Maureen Gelchion Corso; photo courtesy DLTC

Maureen Gelchion Corso; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Maureen Gelchion Corso.

When did you first start dancing and why?
Maureen: I started dancing when I was 9 years old. My mother took me to see the Joffrey Ballet at City Center and I was hooked!

Did you ever seriously consider a career in another field? What was it?
Maureen: Yes, I was an audiology and speech pathology major in college. I went on to pursue my master’s degree at New York University in audiology and deafness rehabilitation, but the Joffrey Ballet School was too close to NYU!

What person/event was the biggest inspiration in your life?
Maureen: My mother was the biggest inspiration in my life. She was a confident and smart businesswoman. As for an event, it was watching my husband (DLTC faculty member Tony Corso) valiantly go through chemotherapy and not complain once about anything.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Click! | New DanceLife Teacher Conference website

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 Online must-sees from the Rhee Gold Company

The next DanceLife Teacher Conference is coming up this summer, held August 1 through 4, at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. And now you can see the most updated schedules and faculty roster at the brand-new DanceLife Teacher Conference website. Visit dancelifeteacherconference.com, and come back for updates!

dancestudiolife.com | dancelifeTV.com | danceliferetreat.com
positivedance.com | dsldancewire.com

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Madame Peff Modelski

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Madame Peff Modelski; photo courtesy DLTC

Madame Peff Modelski; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Madame Peff Modelski.

What do you see as the most pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?

Peff: Commitment and appropriate behavior from students and parents. I feel that parents must be educated as to proper etiquette (sadly missing in this whole country), and that students must learn to work constantly and consistently, and learn to recognize the good feeling of self-reliance in learning to move beautifully.

A dance career is not a Christmas present that someone hands you—you must work for it, because living the process is what makes it an art form. Technique is a necessary tool for the expression of the shape of music and words. The process is messy, and has challenges and disappointments. Learning to keep your enthusiasm, to believe in yourself and your identity through the darkest parts, is what makes you able to bear the physical work of long rehearsal hours. The reward is every minute! There is no room for temper tantrums or jealousy—you should be busy working on your own technique.

Parents and students also need to understand that although it is nice to have “friends in class at the studio” and such (according to the American Dream), in fact, the dancer is his or her own best friend until they are grown up and working. Then you can make friends to trust with your dreams and fears.

The training world of dance is not a democracy, so the boundaries keep the student dancers safe [by teaching them to] know what to do and what not to do.

Teachers and studio owners deserve to feel confident in their ideals for a well-run studio, and that includes proper behavior from and to everyone. That includes how students, parents, and teachers are perceived outside the studio when they are part of daily life.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Hedy Perna

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Hedy Perna; photo courtesy DLTC

Hedy Perna; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Hedy Perna.

What do you do for fun (other than dance)?
Hedy: Hang out with my best friend, Pat. He loves to vacation. I’ll tolerate it for him.

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Hedy: Movie: Holiday Inn. Book: I’m not much of a reader, but I’ll take a romance novel on the beach. TV show: currently I’m addicted to the ID [Investigation Discovery] network. I love mysteries; [shows like] Wives with Knives, My Life is a Lifetime Movie, Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?, etc. But I really love vintage I Love Lucy, or the Carol Burnett or Dean Martin shows. And I’m guilty of watching any Real Housewives.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Hedy: Personally: being married for 26 years to a man who is my soul mate and lover. I waited to get married and then waited 10 years to have a baby, which takes planning, determination, and luck. Sounds corny, but I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and a great teenage daughter.

Professionally: growing and nurturing a large recreational studio that employees many teachers. I’m proud of that.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Gregg Russell

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Gregg Russell; photo courtesy DLTC

Gregg Russell; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Gregg Russell.

In your opinion, who is the greatest dancer to ever dance? The greatest choreographer? The greatest teacher?
Gregg: Such a broad question. How do you rate artistry, relevance, and passion? So . . . for me, individuals that have affected me personally: Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, the Nicholas Brothers, Henry LeTang, Frank Hatchett, Debbi Dee, Keith Clifton. Ask me in a year and this will change!

What do you see as the most-pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?
Gregg: Keeping up with the social times, but still instilling the old-school principles of discipline, dedication, and desire.

What is your version of the perfect day?
Gregg: Being with loved ones and friends; having a day where I have an outline of things to do, but on my own time.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Stacy Eastman

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Stacy Eastman; photo courtesy DLTC

Stacy Eastman; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Stacy Eastman.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Stacy: Helping as many people as I can feel refreshed about what they love, passing on new ideas, and being surrounded by a faculty of people who I grew up being inspired by. I am a teacher myself, so I know exactly what they are feeling, and I look forward to sitting in and learning from the other faculty members.

If Rhee could hold his DLTC anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Stacy: Italy or Hawaii.

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Stacy: Just to feel that they were refreshed and learned some new techniques that are presented in a different way, and to know they are not the only ones feeling the pressures of studio life.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Mike Wittmers

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Mike Wittmers; photo courtesy DLTC

Mike Wittmers; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Mike Wittmers.

In your opinion, who is the greatest dancer to ever dance? The greatest choreographer? The greatest teacher?
Mike: In my opinion, the greatest dancer to ever dance was Gene Kelly. He could do everything and truly made dance masculine. The greatest choreographer was Bob Fosse. I grew up in musical theater and learned Fosse at an early age. He could make anyone look great on stage. The greatest teacher was Al Gilbert. His vision of tap and dance is still being passed on today.

What do you see as the most-pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?
Mike: Parents. They refuse to take the time to read any information given to them. They are at a point now where they will openly tell us to our faces, “Oh, I didn’t bother to read that e-mail. Can you just tell me what applies to me?” It’s very difficult to get kids to focus and pay attention when their parents can’t even do it.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Mike: My mom was my first dance teacher. It’s given me a special connection with her for life. Dance has also given me the opportunity to meet amazing, new people, travel the world, and share my gift of rhythm and musicality. It’s allowed me to make a living for myself, and now that I own a studio with my fiancé, it will help provide for our future family.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Diane Gudat

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Diane Gudat; photo courtesy DLTC

Diane Gudat; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Diane Gudat.

When did you first start dancing and why?
Diane: My dad’s mother was a dance teacher in Danville, Illinois. All five of his brothers and sisters performed throughout the Midwest during the late ’30s and ’40s as the O’Riley Tapticians. My uncle continued to dance as part of the USO in World War II and later in New York and Chicago. It was a family legacy that I felt I was missing out on. Money was tight, but I finally received my once-a-week ballet class as my Christmas present when I was in 6th grade.

Although my grandmother passed away while my father was still in high school, I also felt the pull to teach. I started assisting with preschool classes when I was 13 and never stopped. I am proud that my teaching paid for my daughter’s degree in dance, and now she is a dance teacher, too!

Did you ever seriously consider a career in another field? What was it?
Diane: My father was a funeral director. He spent most of his life building his business. When I began college there was a law that a funeral home had to be in the name of the owner. Neither of my brothers was interested in taking on the business, and although it wasn’t my cup of tea, when I started college I had plans to fulfill the undergrad requirements to attend mortuary college. I soon realized that it was not my calling.

Luckily, the laws changed and my husband decided to go to school and take over the business, which he owns and runs today! My interests quickly shifted to graphic art, and although I never completed a degree, I still enjoy sketching.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Derrick Yanford

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Derrick Yanford; photo courtesy DLTC

Derrick Yanford; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we learn continue our conversation with Derrick Yanford.

What do you like best about teaching at the DLTC?
Derrick: For me it has always been about sharing the knowledge I have acquired. That’s all teaching really is. We all have so many different thoughts, ideas, and approaches to the same thing. So being able to share what I’ve learned with others, hoping that it helps to shape the viewpoint they already have into a clearer vision that they can relate back to the students, is what I am always looking forward to doing. I love my job.

If Rhee could hold his DLTC anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Derrick: Selfishly? Fiji or South Africa. Or Hawaii. I’ve never been but always wanted to go. I love being away in gorgeous weather near the water. But more realistically, I would have to say Amsterdam or New York City. I live in New York—it’s the dance capital of the world. Great restaurants, shopping, shows—the energy is amazing. I love Amsterdam, which kind of like my home away from home. It’s a lot like New York—absolutely gorgeous and romantic. The language barrier is really not a problem. Very few people in the world (even in Europe) speak Dutch and the Dutch know this, so everyone speaks English. Let’s go!

If the DLTC attendees could only take home one lesson/message from your classes, what would it be?
Derrick: Love. Love what you are doing. Love your students. Love yourself. Love the gifts you’ve been given. Just give, be, and receive love, and you’ll be fine.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Bruce Marks

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DLTC_bruce_marks_(1)

Bruce Marks; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Bruce Marks.

What do you do for fun (other than dance)?
Bruce: Kayak, swim (especially when I fall out of my kayak).

What is your favorite movie/book/TV show?
Bruce: My movie choice has to be Casablanca. TV—Downton Abbey. Book . . . too many to name.

What do you see as the most-pressing challenge facing dance studio directors/teachers today?
Bruce: Bringing style and aesthetics to the stage.

What are you looking forward to the most about teaching at the DLTC?
Bruce: Looking forward to an honest exchange of ideas.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty: Bill Evans

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Bill Evans; photo courtesy DLTC

Bill Evans; photo courtesy DLTC

In this installment of “Get to Know Your DLTC Faculty,” we continue our conversation with Bill Evans.

What is your version of the perfect day?
Bill: A day spent walking in a beautiful part of the natural world, eating delicious, healthy food, and dancing to live music.

If you could have lunch with some great villains from history or fiction, who would they be?
Bill: Iago and Judas.

If you were a superhero, what special skill would you like to have?
Bill: I’d love to be able to fly.

A genie in a bottle is granting you a wish: what is it?
Bill: Live a long and healthy dancing life.

What has dance meant to you in your life?
Bill: Dance has given me a way of experiencing a rich, full, diverse, and dynamic life—working in 22 countries and meeting wonderful and interesting people.

To learn more about the DanceLife Teacher Conference scheduled for August 1 to 4 in Scottsdale, Arizona, visit www.dancelifeteacherconference.com.

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